By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Do you constantly yell at your teen to do their homework or brush their teeth? Well, a new study finds your tone of voice may determine whether they follow through or not.

Researchers randomly assigned over a thousand 14-15 year-olds to hear identical messages delivered by mothers in a controlling or supportive, or neutral tone of voice, messages like “It’s now time to go to school” or “You will read this book tonight.”

They found that teens seemed much more responsive to tones of voice conveying encouragement, support, and choice rather than pressure or coercion.

They say using a more positive inflection when communicating can make adolescents feel more cared for and happier and may result in greater efforts at school.

Dr. Mallika Marshall